The textile industry is undergoing rapid transformation with new technologies being researched every day due to the environmental impact it has on our planet. There is a lot more awareness amongst consumers and companies towards sustainability now than in the previous decades. Both are working in their own ways to adopt a more eco-friendly approach on a daily basis. 

As a new decade begins we are listing the 3 most incredible textile innovations of this year. These can make a huge impact on the whole ecological system and can play an important role in preserving the environment.

DriTan™, the sustainable step towards water-free leather manufacturing

DriTan™ technology, developed by Dutch-based ECCO Leather, uses the moisture present in the hides as a key step in their tanning process. With history dating back 10.000 years, the leather tanning process was considered impossible to achieve without the use of large amounts of water. However, ECCO Leather’s DriTan technology breaks the paradigm and is set to change the leather industry. DriTan™ saves 20 litres of water per hide equal to 25 million litres of water saved annually — enough water to keep 9.000 people hydrated for one year. The technology also minimizes the discharge of wastewater and the use of chemicals. DriTan™ leather is indistinguishable from traditionally tanned leather in terms of quality, characteristics, stability and lead-time. ECCO Leather is saving 600 tons of sludge per year, translating into 40 truckloads deposited in landfills per year. 

Omni-Heat™ 3D Thermal Reflective fabric technology

Omni-Heat™ 3D Thermal Reflective fabric technology, developed by Columbia Sportswear, amps up both heat-reflection and heat-retention, creating an entirely new warm experience. Based on Columbia’s patented Omni-Heat Reflective insulation technology, the new innovation pairs a breathable fabric with the reflective heat-retaining foil component of a space blanket to provide warmth. The Omni-Heat 3D’s vertically-oriented fibres do three things: First, they provide an air-pocket between the fabric and whatever it is against. In base layers, the fibres add additional insulating capacity next-to-skin. Second, the fibres lift the reflecting component by a small degree, minimizing heat loss via conduction and maximizing the heat-retaining properties of the fabric. Third, the fibre pods create a pathway through which moisture can move away from the body, enhancing the comfort and wearability of clothing and footwear.

Mylo™, Rooted in Nature

Developed by Bolt Threads, Mylo™ is a sustainable leather grown from mycelium, which has its root structure in mushrooms. In nature, mycelium grows underground in soil, forming networks of threads that help recycle organic matter on the forest floor, while providing nutrients to plants and trees. The threads interweave and self-assemble themselves into a 3D matrix that can spread for miles. Bolt Threads Mylo material looks like hand-crafted leather and shares leather’s warm touch and suppleness. Mylo is created by combining mycelium cells with a substrate of corn stalks and nutrients. Within about 10 days the cells grow into the substrate, which can be cut into almost any size. Mylo can be produced in days, without the need for animal hides or the toxic chemicals used in the production of synthetic leathers.

Apart from these innovations, there are numerous ways adopted by textile companies on a regular basis to reduce their fabric waste either by upcycling their waste or reusing it. This is also our forte. At KAPDAA – The Offcut Company we work to create a circular business model within the fabric industry by collaborating with brands and designers to reuse their existing post-production offcuts to create product innovations. These can go on to form new accessories range or act as bespoke marketing for industry tradeshows and events. When innovation  and awareness go hand in hand the results are very positive. 

(Source and pictures: FabricLink)